Selective Laser Sintering of Bioactive Glass-Ceramics
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An initial investigation was held into the feasibility of producing bone replacement implants from a bioactive glass-ceramic using the Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) process. The work presented considers both a direct and an indirect approach, where the material is sintered with a polymer binder and subsequently post-processed. An existing material with potentially suitable biological and mechanical properties was selected from the range of apatite-mullite glass-ceramics in the SiO2-Al2O3-CaO-CaF2-P2O5 series. The viability of using this material with the SLS process was then tested, and the process route and resulting material properties characterised. It is concluded that both direct and indirect SLS processes have potential in the manufacture of personalised bone replacement applications.